The most common medical cause of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Specifically, among an estimated 14 million US commercial drivers, 17–28% or 2.4 to 3.9 million are expected to have OSA. Based on existing epidemiologic evidence, most of these drivers are undiagnosed and not adequately treated. Untreated OSA increases the risk of vehicular crashes as documented in multiple independent studies and by meta-analysis. Therefore, identifying commercial drivers with OSA and having them effectively treated should decrease crash-related fatalities and injuries. Several strategies are available for screening and identifying drivers with OSA. The simplest and most effective objective strategies use body mass index (BMI) cutoffs for obesity. Functional screens are promising adjuncts to other objective tests. The most effective approach will likely be a combination of a good questionnaire; BMI measures; and a careful physician-obtained history complemented by a functional screen.
2014 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health